In an industry dominated by male superstars, Sridevi reversed the trend by her sheer acting prowess. Infact, most times, Sridevi's name was a guarantee enough for a film's success.
She is remembered for her performances in some of the most iconic Bollywood films like Mr. India, Nagina, Sadma, ChaalBaaz, Chandni, Khuda Gawah, among many others in different Indian languages. Sridevi, who made a comeback to Bollywood in 2012 with English Vinglish after a hiatus of 15 years, was last seen in Mom in 2017.
Sridevi started acting at the age of four and made her debut with M A Thirumugham's Thunaivan. She continued acting in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada films but it was her career in Bollywood that made her a household name in the country.
Baby Sridevi did her first Tamil movie, Kandhan Karunai, playing the role of a young boy, 'Murugan'.
She made her Bollywood debut as a child artiste in 1975 hit Julie but continued ruling the South Indian film industry where she established herself as a leading heroine with films such as 16 Vayathinile, Sigappu Rojakkal, Meendum Kokila, and Moondram Pirai.
In the 80s, Sridevi set major gyration goals for other 'ichchadhaari naagins' to follow with 'Main Tera Dushman' from Nagina. In fact, the lady managed to set a trend with the snake fantasy in Hindi film industry.
The year 1983 saw Sridevi giving some stellar performances in both critically acclaimed and box-office hits such as Sadma, where she played the role of a woman who loses her memory. Both, she, and actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan played the roles in the Hindi remake of their 1982 Tamil movie, Moondram Pirai. The climax of the heart-wrenching movie was deemed as poetic as the entire plot, with the song 'Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le' as an ode to the philosophy of uncertainty in life.
Her other major box office hits of the era were ChaalBaaz, where she played the role of twins, Nagina, and Khuda Gawah opposite Amitabh Bachchan.
While Rajesh Khanna was called the first superstar of Hindi film industry, Sridevi's expressive eyes and the mischievous smile sent hearts aquiver and lit up the cinema screens, making her Bollywood's first female superstar.
Sridevi's pairing with Anil Kapoor, her Mr. India co-star, and brother-in-law, was particularly successful and she worked with him again in Laadla and Judaai.
Didn't we all love to hate her in Judaai? Sridevi completely nailed it as a woman who sold her family for money.
After Judaai, Sridevi took a break from acting to focus on her marriage with Boney Kapoor. She had two daughters - Janhvi and Khushi - with Kapoor. Janhvi Kapoor recently made a successful debut in Bollywood with Dhadak.
In an impressive career, spanning five decades, the actor ruled the commercial cinema space in the '80s and '90s like no heroine had done before.
Such was her popularity that her style and dance moves would be copied by her fans country over. She was 'Miss Hawa Hawai' and 'Chandni' for them.
In Bollywood, she made her debut in 1978 as a lead actor in Solva Sawan. She gained commercial success with the 1983 film Himmatwala opposite Jeetendra, which also established her as one of the best dancers in cinema. She was grace-personified dressed as an apsara (a celestial beauty in Hindu mythology) performing on the hit track 'Nainon mein sapna'.
A throwback picture shared by Hrithik Roshan on Twitter, read, "I loved her, admired her so much. My 1st ever acting shot was with Sri Devi, I was nervous in front of her n I remember her shaking her hands pretending 2b nervous cause of me just 2 boost my confidence. V had 2 laugh, n she kept laughing until I got it right. Will miss you mam. [sic]"
An extremely shy person in real life, Sridevi came alive in front of the cameras, playing a variety of roles.
Filmmaker Yash Chopra cast her in the title role of Chandni in the 1989 film, another iconic film of her career. Such was her performance in the film that fans came to recognise her with the name of Chandni. Impressed with her performance in the film, Chopra cast her again in Lamhe in a dual role, where she played the mother and the daughter.
The actor made a successful comeback to cinema 15 years later with Gauri Shinde's English Vinglish, playing a housewife who learns English after feeling left out in her family. She also had a starring role in Tamil film Puli and followed English Vinglish with another successful outing in Mom, which also featured Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Akshaye Khanna.
Sridevi's sudden death at the age of 54 has left her family and fans in shock and grief. The actor-wife of producer Boney Kapoor suffered a cardiac arrest in Dubai and passed away. She had gone to Dubai along with her family to attend her nephew Mohit Marwah's wedding. On her birthday anniversary today, we look at her journey from a child artist to India's first female superstar
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